President of Executive Council of Vojvodina, Bojan Pajtić, MA, has received Ambassador of Italy, Alessandro Merola

Novi Sad, 13 December – The President of the Executive Council of Autonomous Province of Vojvodina, Bojan Pajtić, MA, has received the Ambassador of Italy in Serbia, Alessandro Merola.

The meeting was attended by István Pásztor, Provincial Secretary of Privatization, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, Predrag Novikov, Director of the Office for European Affairs, and Barbara Avdalović, Deputy Secretary for Regional and International Cooperation.

The cooperation between AP Vojvodina and the Italian regions of Friuli-Venezia Giulia, Veneto and Umbria has shown exceptional results, and as the President of the Executive Council of Vojvodina, Bojan Pajtić, MA, emphasized, is among the most dynamic relations which our Province has established. He indicated that there is a balanced ratio between export and import – the export of our products into the Italian market has risen to $247 million, whereas import has risen to $211 million.

The presence of Italian investors and capital in Vojvodina is substantial, however, cooperation still needs to be intensified, especially, because of favorable taxation policy in our country, the price of real estate, and the ratio between input and output, which presents powerful stimulus for business set-up in our country to Italian and foreign investors. Ambassador Merola indicated that Vojvodina is the most attractive part of Serbia to foreign investors and the most important strategic target for Italian businessmen, as well as an important factor in our way toward European integration. Merola also said that Italian companies, of which there are approximately 10,000 in the neighboring Timisoara, can make Vojvodina the location where they would open their regional offices or invest into the economy of the Province, and especially, participated in the privatization process and in the establishment of SMEs.

Pajtić indicated that mutual benefit from the cooperation between the businessmen from Vojvodina and Italy can be achieved by product placement into the Russian market, which is open to us and accessible as a result of the agreement our country signed with Russia. It was said in the course of the discussion that future cooperation has to be targeted mostly toward the development of infrastructure, agriculture and services, whilst bearing in mind the size and quality of the University in Novi Sad, cooperation will also be strengthened in the field of culture and education.

The Provincial Secretary of Privatization, Entrepreneurship and SMEs, István Pásztor indicated that the Agreement on Cluster Formation in Vojvodina, in the sector of agricultural machine production, has been signed today, by means of which cooperation has been established between the clusters operating in Italy and Serbia, Vojvodina. The Agreement was signed with UNACOMA, National Union of Agricultural Machine Manufacturers from Italy and “BIPOM Cluster”, Association for Promotion of Agriculture Machine Manufacturers’ Competitiveness from Serbia, with a real possibility for the placement of ready-made products into the Russian market. István Pásztor suggested that in the forthcoming period a meeting should be held between the representatives of companies having regional offices in Timisoara and businessmen from Vojvodina in order to establish cooperation and contacts between local and Italian businessmen, thus, future cooperation between businessmen from Vojvodina and Italy has to be focused on the development of infrastructure, agriculture, food industry and services. Referring to the successful cooperation between Vojvodina and Italy, István Pásztor said that partnership has already been established and that now is the time of symbiosis, i.e. realization of joint economic interests.